THE DAY OP OUR OPPORTUNITY ty Bishop W. A. Candler THE DAY OF OUR OPPORTUNITY.* BY BISHOP W. A. CANDLER. It is, indeed, a very great privilege to have a part in this meet- ing, which, I am sure, marks an era in the history of our Church. This assembly of picked men is an index of a strong sentiment for the cause of missions already prevalent among us, and it is the promise and prophecy of still greater things to come. It is the beginning of a movement which looks to the enlisting of the men of the Church in the great work of foreign missions, and it has not come too soon. When I have visited Roman Catfeplic Churches in Latin Amer- ica, the services of which are attended for the most part by women and children only, I have often asked myself the question : "May not our Protestant Churches in the United. States fall some day into the same condition of neglect by the men of our coun- try?" Two-thirds of the membership of our'.Churches are women and girls. A very large per cent of. ihese' female members are interested in missions, while a very small per cent of the men, a minority of a minority, cares for this great interest. If we are to meet the "Day of Our Opportunity," something more must be done than can be accomplished by the women and girls and this small minority of the men of the Church. What we have done hitherto in the matter of foreign missions has been through the appeals of the preachers reenforced by the missionary soci- eties of the women and the juvenile societies. I would not de- preciate what has been thus accomplished. Vast and blessed results have already been achieved. But no merely clerical Chris- tianity nor juvenile Christianity nor effeminate Christianity can meet the opportunity which confronts the Church in these mo- mentous times. Our "Day of Opportunity" calls loudly for a vigorous, virile, manful Christianity. In considering the "Day of Our Opportunity," it will be well to remind ourselves of what is the scriptural conception of an opportunity. According to the Scriptures, an opportunity for Christian service is not measured by the number of people to whom one is called to speak. * Delivered at the Laymen's Missionary Conference, Knoxville, Tenn. ( October 18, 1907. 2 The Day of Our Opportunity. Our Lord found very great opportunities in dealing with indi- vidual souls, as in the case of Nicodemus and the woman of Samaria. If an opportunity is measured by mere numbers, Paul lost a very great opportunity when, by the call of the Holy Spirit, he left Asia, where multitudes waited to hear him, and went to Europe, where, at Philippi, he preached only to Lydia and a few women by the riverside and the jailer and his household in the jail, and then departed. His auditors at Philippi were few, but . his opportunity was great. The conversion of Lydia and the jailer was the beginning of Christianity in Europe, and Paul's visit there meant more to civilization in Europe and to the whole human race than did the battle between the Imperialists and Re- publicans of Rome, which was fought near to the city of Philippi, and which Creasy reckons as one of the decisive battles of his- tory. Again, an opportunity is not measured or determined by the fact that a given situation is apparently free of all- difficulties. The apostle to the Gentiles, writing of one place, said : "A great and effectual door is open to us, but there are many adversaries." The adversaries were there because the door was open. If there had been no open door, but only a solid wall, before the apostle and his comrades, the spiritual forces of evil would not have needed to oppose them as adversaries. We may be sure, when a good man or a faithful Church rises up to do a great work for God, the devil will not leave them without adversaries to with- stand their efforts. Whether the company to which we speak be great or small, or the difficulties be many or few, an opportunity is at hand when one is where God wants him at the time he ought to be there, and is doing the work God wants him to do. In the light of this definition a very great "Day of Opportunity" confronts evan- gelical Christianity just now. This opportunity, as I conceive it, is indicated and measured by two great facts. The first of these facts is, that every form of religion among men, except evan- gelical Christianity, has proved inadequate to meet the religious needs of mankind ; and the second fact is, that evangelical Chris- tianity has the resources, material and spiritual, to meet these needs. Let us glance at the religious conditions existing now in 'the various countries of the earth, and see how every form of reli- gion, except evangelical Christianity, has failed, or is failing, to meet the needs of the people. Let us begin with the continent of Europe. In the British Isles the forces of evangelical Chris- The Day of Our Opportunity. 3 tianity, whether within the Established Church or among the dissenting bodies, are the only forces which are speaking with authority and power to the British nation. On the Continent the countries of Northern Europe are dominated largely by a ra- tionalistic Christianity, broken into all sorts of parties, cold as to zeal and impotent as to missionary effort and enterprise. In Russia and adjacent states the Christianity of the Greek Church is corroded and corrupted by all manner of superstitions and oppressions. In Southern Europe, where Romanism has hith- erto prevailed, the people are breaking away from the Church in very large bodies. Even as far north as Austria, there is an extensive and energetic rebellion against the authority of the Church of Rome. In the old papal States Romanism is a waning force. The pope counts himself a prisoner in the Vatican, and popular sentiment in Italy shows an increasing indifference, not to say a bitter hostility, to the religion for which the Vatican stands. Even Spain and Portugal, cut off from the direct in- fluence of the Lutheran Reformation by reason of their geograph- ical position and other causes, are beginning to show opposition to Romanism. In the city of Barcelona, particularly, and in the region of Spain influenced by that city, the people are more and more assuming a Protestant, if not an evangelical, attitude. What of conditions in the Western world, the two Americas? In those lands of America where Romanism has hitherto pre- vailed, from the northernmost point of Mexico to Terra del Fuego, there is religious ferment, agitation, and disintegration. Romanism can nevermore be the established religion of those countries. In Canada and the United States evangelical Christianity is the prevailing type of religion. Indeed, in these lands both the Reformation of Luther and the Wesleyan Revival are being car- ried to their perfection. Those mighty movements of former centuries are still going on among us under the providence of God. The Reformation of Luther and his contemporaries had but small effect on Southern Europe, but now a vast body of immigrants are coming from Southern Europe to America and meeting here the saving influences of the Lutheran Reformation, raised to their highest power by the added force of the Wesleyan Revival. The Wesleyan Revival found it easier to leap across the Atlantic Ocean to the American continent than to pass over the English Channel or the German Ocean to the continent of Europe ; and just because the Lutheran Reformation in Northern Europe never reached the height of spirituality and power at- 4 The Day of Our Opportunity. tained by the English-speaking people through the Wesleyan Revival, the Christianity of Northern and Central Europe has sunk into a soulless and sinewless rationalism. Immigrants to America from these lands of Northern and Central Europe find in the Western world the evangelical Christianity which rescues them from rationalism and enrolls them among those evangelical forces which propose the conquest of the world for Christ. Thus we see from this hasty review of Europe and America that the evangelical Christianity of Great Britain and the United States is the only really vital, buoyant, and conquering force in Christendom. It was a very significant fact that in the great Missionary Conference which met in the city of New York in the spring of the year 1900 an overwhelming majority of the membership was from the possessions of Great Britain and the United States. It is also significant that of the twenty-one mil- lions of dollars which were contributed last year to the cause of foreign missions more than eighteen millions came from Great Britain and our own country. Let us now pass beyond the limits of what is commonly called Christendom. What hope for the race does Mohammedanism hold forth ? The religion of the false prophet of Arabia is no longer progressive. Strongly organized by its fatalistic tendencies and its union with 'a political despotism, it might be expected to have some power, and it does have power; but it makes no progress, and it is not Holding its own in the lands which it claims. The government of Turkey is the stronghold of Mohammedanism, and we call the "Unspeakable Turk" the "Sick Man of the East." He is the sick man of the East because his heart is dis- eased and his circulation is bad, which is another way of saying that the spiritual forces at the center of his system are defiled and enfevered. If we pass on to India, we observe the ancient faiths there weary, wasted, and ready to die. When we come to China, somewhat similar conditions meet us. The Chinese are a proud and intellectual people, and they have reason to be proud, if achievements in mere philosophy mark the highest height to which human nature can rise. In the. matter of philosophy, Confucius and those who have come after hjm have done as well as the human intellect can ever be expected to do. But the China which Confucianism, Buddhism, and Tao- ism have made has been weighed in the balances by its own people and found wanting. First the war with Japan and then the war between Japan and Russia forced the Chinese people to The Day of Our Opportunity. 5 see that their ancient civilization cannot stand the stress of modern times. And for this cause the whole nation is now crying out for what they call the "Western Learning." There is not a mis- sion school nor any other school in all China which can give any sort of show of ability to impart the "Western Learning" that is not crowded with pupils. When I was there, a year ago, the Buddhist temples in many places were being converted into school- houses. The teacher, and not the Taoist priest, has now the ear of China. Their venerable sage, Confucius, no longer commands the esteem which his teachings enjoyed in former times. China stretches out her hand to Great Britain and the United States, calling for the "Western Learning," and she cannot get that learning without taking with it the Christianity which gave it birth, and without which it cannot live in any land. What a "Day of Opportunity" for evangelical Christianity has thus dawned in the Celestial Empire ! In Japan the situation is somewhat different. Religious con- ditions there as to their ancient faiths and the Christianity which is come into the land are about the same as prevailed in the Roman Empire during the years preceding the reign of Con- stantine. Heathenism is there, of course. The temples of Bud- dhism are still standing, and shrines of Shintoism are found in every part of the Japanese Empire. But the intellectual classes of the Japanese have lost all faith in these superstitious systems, and observe their rites as social conveniences or political ex- pedients, knowing them to be without divine authority and with- out moral efficacy. The ancient faiths of Japan are dying, if not dead, and nothing can restore them to the confidence of the people. At the same time the Japanese people, from high- est to lowest, are eager for admission to the family of nations on terms of equality with the most enlightened governments of Christendom. The nation is, therefore, very sensitive to the public opinion of Christendom. Let me give you an example: When I was returning from China our ship came into the port of Yokohama one afternoon early in the month of November. The authorities of the vessel announced that we would remain in port about thirty hours, and so we went ashore. Among the passengers was a Japanese youth who attached himself to our circle on the ship mostly because he was learning English and wanted an opportunity to practice on us, I think. While we were in port the Crown Prince paid a visit to the city, and our party went to the railway station to get a sight of him. He was a very good-looking young man, dressed about as any gentleman 6 The Day of Our Opportunity. in our country would be attired under similar circumstances, wearing a black Prince Albert suit and a silk hat. We got a good view of him and returned to the ship. The Japanese youth soon showed great eagerness to discover our opinions concerning the Prince. He maneuvered a great deal to elicit an expression from me, and my reticence was as fixed as his curiosity was in- terrogative. Finally he said to me flatly: "What do you think of the Prince'?" "O," I said, "he is a very nice-looking young man. But," I inquired, "is he the son of the Empress?" With my question his countenance fell ; and he answered, rather hum- bly: "No, I am sorry to say he is not. The Emperor has several wives besides the Empress. The Empress is childless, and the Crown Prince is the son of another." "Then," I said, "has the Crown Prince more than one wife?" Instantly his Japanese pride returned, and he replied with great emphasis: "O no; the last Emperor with more than one wife is now on the throne of Japan, and there will never be another." The boy was not a Christian, but he reflected the enlightened sentiment of his people, which is penetrated by so much Christian influence that polygamy is doomed in Japan. When it becomes bad form at the court, it will be abandoned by the common people. And so also many other things of an unchristian sort are doomed in Japan. The Japanese are drawn toward the moral and religious standards of Christendom »by that national pride so characteristic of them, and which is at once both a curse and a blessing to them. With all their vanity, the Japanese were never so open to Christian in- fluence ; and here again is another door of vast opportunity. The case of Korea is different from that of either China or Japan. There is nothing like it in any nation on the earth, and there never was anything like it. It is the case of a broken- hearted nation, with all its hopes blasted, turning to Christ as its last friend. (a) The nation is hopeless as to material prosperity. It has been crushed in all of its industries. About the time Columbus was discovering the Western world, Hideyoshi, who is called the Napoleon of Japan, invaded Korea and carried away captive nearly all of its artisans. From these artisans Japan acquired her profitable arts of pottery, sword-making, and the like ; while by the loss of them Korea was greatly impoverished. This Na- poleon of Japan not only carried the artisans into captivity, but he slew with cruel hand many of his Korean captives. In Kioto, the old capital of Japan, there is a granite shaft called the "Ear Monument," under which the ears of thousands of Hideyoshi's The Day of Our Opportunity. 7 Korean captives are buried, the bodies having been cast away elsewhere. The cruel hand of Hideyoshi was scarcely more heavy in its blows upon Japanese industry than were the hands of Korea's own ruling classes. There is a process in the Orient called "squeezing," by which the official classes enrich them- selves at the cost of the industrial classes. This "squeezing" process has prevailed so long in Korea that no laborer is sure of the fruits of his toil, and unrewarded labor sooner or later ends in listless indolence and ambitionless indifference. (b) Korea is politically hopeless. The nation desired first of. all independence ; if it might not have that, then it preferred the suzerainty of China, because it was light and nominal; if that might not be, next in order of preference it desired the suzerainty of Russia, because it operated at great distance. The last thing in the world the Koreans desired was the protectorate of Japan, and that has now been imposed upon them. By consequence the people feel that the last ray of hope in their political sky has gone out. They yielded themselves to a painful despair. (c) Korea is also without religious hope. In olden times Buddhism was the religion of the Koreans. That was when the capital of the country was the city of Songdo. But the Buddhist priests began meddling with politics, and an insurrec- tion arose. The King was dethroned and the Prime Minister was made king in his stead. The capital was moved to Seoul, and it was ordained that no Buddhist priest should ever put his feet into that city as long as the sun, moon, and stars endured. Buddhism, thus exposed to popular hatred and outlawed at the court, almost perished from the land. And no other religion took its place. The Buddhism of Korea for several centuries has been mainly confined to monasteries in the mountains and small temples at other points remote from the great populous centers of the country. To some of these mountain monasteries tired missionaries go for rest in summer, and for a small price they are permitted to preach as much as they will in the temples at- tached to the monasteries. So we see Korea is a land "without God and without hope in the world." Industrially, politically, and religiously the Koreans are a despairing and broken-hearted people. This is the impression one gathers on sight of a Korean con- gregation. I shall never forget my first experience in preaching in Korea. Our party reached the city of Seoul on a Saturday afternoon during the last days of September, 1906. I agreed to preach at a chapel in the eastern part of the city on the next 8 The Day of Our Opportunity. morning. I asked my old friend and former pupil, Mr. Yun, to meet me at the chapel on Sunday morning and act as my inter- preter. I had been for a month in Japan, observing Japanese vanity and conceit, and dojng what I could to cure that evil spirit and to establish in its place the more beautiful spirit of Christian humility. I supposed I would find the same sort of pride in the Koreans ; but when I came into the chapel and looked upon the crowded congregation there assembled, there came over me the impression that there was no vanity there, that a broken- hearted company sat before me. I had gone prepared to preach a sermon designed to rebuke intellectual pride and to induce pov- erty of spirit upon the part of any who sought to enter the king- dom of heaven ; but I felt constrained to change my theme. My mind turned to a text about which I had had an experience in my early ministry. In the summer of 1875 I preached in the presence of my mother, who held a sort of Confucian view of parenthood to the effect that the authority of a parent never ended while life lasted. The text which I used was the words of the Saviour : "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy- laden, and I will give you rest." After the service my mother and I were alone together, and she said to me in rather man- datory tones: "Never again preach on that text until you can preach from it more tenderly." More than thirty years had passed since that night in the old village church when I preached before my mother and the day when I looked into the faces of the Koreans in the chapel at Seoul, and in all that time I had not preached on the text quoted, because I felt I could not preach it as tenderly as my mother's command required. But as I saw those broken-hearted people the thought came to me: "Now surely I can discuss that text with tenderness, for what else than this tender invitation of Jesus is suitable to soothe the sor- row of this broken-hearted people?" My friend Yun inter- preted for me the sermon I undertook to preach, and as the dis- course proceeded his heart was melted and he began to weep, so that he had to desist from interpreting. Our brother, Rev. W. G. Cram, took Yun's place as interpreter, for Cram is one of those men who can cry and talk at the same time. With tearful tenderness he told the Koreans in their own tongue the gracious truths of the gospel, which I could only speak to them in English. The whole congregation was moved to tears. I never saw any- where manifestations of deeper emotion; and when the sermon ceased, spontaneously they fell to singing the Korean version of the beautiful hymn, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus !" After The Day of Our Opportunity. <> that service I preached to them at several points, in both the cities of Songdo and Seoul, but I was never able while preaching in Korea to get away from the solacing subjects contained in the gospel of Christ. Most of my texts were taken from the fourteenth chapter of John, such as: "Let not your heart be troubled : ye believe in God, believe also in me," etc. From what I have said you will gather the truth that this broken-hearted people look to Christianity as to the last hope left them. How can we disappoint such a pathetic longing for Christ and his salvation? Where is there a wider opportunity in all the earth, or one which calls to us with such constraining pathos ? Not since the days of the apostles, if then, has Christianity won such rapid and extensive victories as its recent triumphs in Korea. During the year 1906 the comparatively small missionary forces which the evangelical Churches have stationed in that land of the Morning Calm have won nearly, or quite, fifty thou- sand converts. We have now run rapidly over religious conditions and needs in most of the lands of the earth, and wherever we have looked we have found all faiths failing except evangelical Christianity. If this great force is not equal to the needs of mankind, there is no religious hope for the race. If it shall falter and fail in its efforts to redeem the world, the world's redemption must be given up as a vain hope and a futile plan. But the world's re- demption cannot be given up. Evangelical Christianity is equal to the needs of the world's woe. In the first place, the nations in which evangelical Christianity is the prevalent faith have the wealth of the world in their pos- session. They have the material resources required for the re- ligious conquest of the earth. Last year the American people by their tax returns claimed to possess more than one hundred billions of taxable property, and we may be sure they did not overestimate the value of their possessions when they made re- turns of what they owned to the taxing officers of the country. Great Britain, that other nation in which evangelical Chris- tianity is the prevailing faith, has scarcely less of this world's goods than we have. Together the two nations are able to buy all the rest of the property in this earth. Is it an accident that these vast accumulations, this enormous stored power, have been given by Providence to these nations in which evangelical Christianity most prevails? Has not this un- paralleled wealth been given to these mighty peoples to equip them to meet an unprecedented opportunity ? Have they not been 10 The Day of Our Opportunity. enriched in purse that they may have the resources by which to enrich all mankind in piety? Are they not two great armies which the Captain of our salvation has victualed for a world- wide campaign to rescue f rdm death an imperiled race ? But money is not all that is needed for the work of missions. Evangelical Christianity has something more and better than money to qualify it for this work. It is a glad and songful faith, and no songless or sad faith can ever make a conquest of the world. Only a cheerful and buoyant faith, that hopeth all things, will have patience and courage enough for so mighty a task. Furthermore, the doctrines of evangelical Christianity, capa- ble as they are of being known in a saving experience of grace, are the only truths which can find universal acceptance among all classes in all lands. Ritualism is a local thing, and cannot pro- ceed far in any direction without traveling beyond the area in which it is impressive and reaching a point where it is only grotesque and curious. It yields quickly to superstition, even when it maintains its purest forms. Rationalism is a restless and transient thing, forever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of that truth which truly reveals the unchanging God and authoritatively commands the adhesion of mankind with its unchanging wants and ancient woes. But evangelical Chris- tianity, with its doctrines of experimental religion, is at home in all lands and powerful in all times. It can never be local or transient, for it ministers to the universal wants of man and speaks eternal truths. This is what is implied in the memorable words of the Master to St. Peter and the other disciples at Cesarea Philippi. When the son of Jonas had confessed that he was "the Christ, the Son of the Living God," our Lord warmly responded : "Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. . . . And upon this rock I will build my church ; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." By these sublime words the Master did not teach, as the Romanists claim, that the Church is founded on the primacy of Peter, nor did he teach, as some Protestants aver, that the foundation of the Church rests on the abstract doctrine of his divinity. What he taught is that the perpetuity of the Church arises from that spiritual life which springs from heaven- born faith in him, not originating in the processes of flesh and blood, but in the direct revelation of the Divine Father to the human soul. It is interesting to observe that when that great saying of our Lord had been wrested from its true meaning, al- most to the overthrow of a pure Christianity by the Roman The Day of Our Opportunity. \\ hierarchy, a personal and living experience of the truth upon the part of Martin Luther and the reformers saved the Church from death and vindicated anew the confident prediction of our Lord concerning its perpetuity. It was this evangelical and experimental religion which brought new life to the English- speaking world in Wesley's time, when faith apparently lay a-dying. In the same form of Christianity the whole world of to-day must find its salvation and hope. Again, no form of religion which does not realize daily the personal presence of a living Lord can be equal to the evan- gelization of the earth. So great a task exceeds the natural powers of man, and nothing but the assurance of the present and constant aid of a superhuman Leader will induce men to prose- cute such a mighty work to its ultimate culmination. When Joshua, the successor of Moses, led Israel across the Jordan and stood beneath the shadow of the walls of Jericho, he would not have dared the siege of that city except the en- couraging vision of the Lord had met him. Then it was the new leader of Israel met One who gave him to understand that he was only a subordinate in that bold invasion of Canaan, saying unto him : "As captain of the host of the Lord am I now come." In this vision Joshua saw the Lord himself taking com- mand of the forces of Israel, and with such a superior Leader he felt that failure was impossible. When the apostle Paul plunged into the deep, dark heathenism of the first century, without a mission board behind him, or even a sympathetic Church, his courage was constantly renewed by visions of the risen Lord. "He endured, as seeing him who is invisible." In the same manner to-day must the great missionary enter- prise be carried on. No form of Christianity except that whose adherents live in daily touch with the living Christ can by any possibility be equal to this work. No second-hand Christianity imparted by the touch of sacerdotal fingers, no rationalistic Chris- tianity blinded and hesitant, can do this work; only that clear- eyed faith which finds in its daily life the fulfillment of the word, "Lo, I am with you always," will dare and do what this great "Day of Opportunity" calls for. I hope I shall not be accused of bigotry if I say that, of all forms of evangelical Christianity, Methodism is best adapted to this great work. Not in narrow sectarianism, but in honest sin- cerity, I venture to affirm so. I am very catholic in my senti- ments. I have to be ; I have one brother who is a Baptist, three 12 The Day of Our Opportunity. brothers who are Presbyterians, two brothers who are Methodists, one sister who is a Baptist, another who is a Presbyterian, and another who is a Methodist. So, you see, catholicity of spirit is a household necessity wfth me. But I cultivate it not alone as a domestic expedient for peace, but as an essential element of Christian character. Notwithstanding I thus cultivate a cath- olic spirit, I am not the less persuaded that Methodism is the best type of Christianity for making the conquest of the world. And my reasons for so believing are plain and conclusive. In the first place, Methodism proclaims a doctrine of atone- ment which provides for the salvation of all men ; it believes that the redemption which is in Jesus Christ is for all, and that our Saviour "tasted death for every man." No narrow creed that proposes the salvation of a part only of the world can hope to take the whole world for Christ. It may be very busy seeking the elect, but it will fall very far short of saving the lost. Then, again, the policy of Methodism is adapted to the work of saving the world. Its preachers do not wait to be called, but go quickly where they are sent. There is a great difference be- tween a called ministry and a sent ministry. Nineveh would have been a long time calling Jonah, and Jonah would have been a long time accepting such a call if the Church at Nineveh had sent it to him. The prophet was greatly needed in that wicked city, but he was not wanted. And, furthermore, the Methodist preacher who may be sent anywhere, and who I hope will sooner or later be found every- where, goes forth, not as a priest speaking a word of human absolution to men, but as an evangelist calling men to that knowledge of God and assurance of salvation which is found in what we call "the witness of the Spirit." Do you know that doctrine had been lost sight of and was almost unrecognized when Wesley came? When he claimed to have experienced the witness of the Spirit and began preaching that great truth, so devout a woman as his own saintly mother became alarmed. She wrote him a word of warning, which ran somewhat on this wise: "Dear Jackey: Beware how you preach that doctrine and claim that experience. My understanding has always been that it is - peculiar experience, reserved for bishops and venerable saints about to die." But John Wesley, who in Aldersgate Street had felt his "heart strangely warmed," disregarded the misguided caution of his mother, and sounded forth anew among men the apostolic truth that no human parent can speak more directly to a child than our Father in heaven can speak the The Day of Our Opportunity. 13 word of forgiveness and assurance to a penitent and trustful soul. All the world now knows, wherever evangelical Chris- tianity is preached, whether proclaimed by Methodists or others, that every child of God knows his Father in heaven, not by a message from priestly lips, but by the direct word of the eternal Spirit to the human heart. It is this sure knowledge of God which mystified India needs, which cold, philosophic China thirsts for, which Japan, fevered with vanity and faithlessness, requires, which Mohammedan lands, manacled with fatalism, hunger for — which the whole world must have or perish. And it is our business to give this knowledge of God to all who have it not, and this great business of carrying this gospel to the ends of the earth must be under- taken in an earnest, dignified, and businesslike way. It cannot be carried on successfully and properly in any other manner. As I intimated in the outset, my brethren, I am afraid our Christianity has, in the matter of its practical enterprises, been too effeminate. I beg pardon of the ladies for the use of that word, but it is the best I can now think of to describe what is in my mind. We have too many effeminate rhetorical essays from the pulpit, and our Church music is often of a sort that suggests a light, artistic musicale, rather than the adoring praise of the eternal God. Earnest men who have been dealing with great political issues or great commercial enterprises, whose ears are accustomed to stern war cries, can never be commanded by services in which such things predominate. And in our financial methods we often adopt expedients equally effeminate. A sum of money is needed for a given enterprise of the Church, and forthwith we encourage the women of the Church to give an "oyster supper" or a "strawberry festival" to raise the amount required. Such methods belittle the cause of Christ. I do not blame the women. They resort to this be- cause they know not what else to do when the men refuse to give the money which is required to carry on the work of the Church. But, depend upon it, our Christianity can never command the serious attention of business men when it is supported by such peddling devices. What does a banker think of Christianity when he comes home after a day's work in which he has dealt with enterprises involving hundreds of thousands of dollars and finds his Christian wife and daughter trying to raise some mis- sionary money by peddling on a lawn three oysters for a quarter or a tablespoonful of ice cream and strawberries for fifteen cents ? 14 The Day of Our Opportunity. And the impression made upon the unconverted is scarcely less hurtful when in the great congregation they hear a timid, faithless, and half-hearted preacher apologizing for taking his collection for foreign missions. How often have we heard the pastor of a large and wealthy congregation address them thus: "Brethren, I have come to-day to take my collection for foreign missions. It is a part of my duty, you know, under the Disci- pline. I am sorry the district stewards have assessed our Church more than its share, but we must try to raise it!" That sort of apologetic presentation of so great a cause is a reproach to the Church and an offense to God. Often the smallness of the amount for which we ask to carry on this tremendous work is a surprise to men accustomed to large figures in business. They cannot possibly understand how a world-wide campaign can be projected on a two-penny basis. If a man were to ask me to give him twenty-five cents to buy a horse, I would not do it, be- cause I know no such sum will pay any appreciable part of the price of a horse. I would rather give him twenty-five dollars for such a purpose than to give him twenty-five cents. And many a business man will hear an appeal for a hundred dollars for the cause of missions who would be utterly indifferent to a request for one dollar. He argues, and argues correctly, that the Church cannot do such a work with such a sum, and that if such a cause needs only one dollar from him it can probably get on without that. Our preachers should learn to make ap- peals for amounts commensurate with the cause, and they should press these appeals with a courage and confidence worthy of the Christianity they profess. Let them not come to the pulpit with apologies upon their lips, but rather let them come speaking authoritatively, saying to the owners of hoarded treasure: "The Lord hath need." Let them put this great cause upon no lower basis than that it is the will of God concerning us, and that it is a high privilege to do the will of God. We want no appeals to sectarian ambition or ecclesiastical pride. Sometimes we hear it said from the pulpit : "Our Church must enter this field or occupy that station because if we do not some other Church will." Such a consideration is not proper ground for our entering any place whatsoever. If any other Church could save the world or any part of the world without our aid, by all means let us bid such a Church Godspeed.- Let us base our appeals for doing this work on the higher and truer ground that without our efforts the salvation of the world will be delayed, if not prevented. The Day of Our Opportunity. 15 I am glad to have before me a company of men to whom I can speak thus plainly without giving offense. You are picked men, and you will not misunderstand me. I pray you go back home, and by both your precept and example tell our preachers and our people that the Lord's business must henceforth be conducted in a nobler fashion. Tell them that an enterprise projected to lift into light the whole world that lieth in darkness calls for the highest self-sacrifice. And tell them also that our welfare, as well as our duty, is involved. This whole world must soon be all pagan or all Christian. The ends of the earth have been brought together by the modern inventions of transportation and communication. When Mr. Jefferson was President of the Unit- ed States he put forth the idea, which Mr. Lincoln subsequently more fully elaborated, to the effect that our country must sooner or later be all free soil or all slave territory. At that time the proposition was doubted and debated ; but in the end we have seen that it was absolutely sound, and that the result was inevitable. I say to you now that the whole earth must soon be all Christian or all anti-Christian. Peking, China, is to all intents and pur- poses nearer to Washington City now than was New Orleans when Mr. Jefferson was President. Indeed, you know that General Jackson and General Pakenham fought the battle of New Orleans after the War of 1812 was over. The treaty of peace between the United States and Great Britain had been signed some days before the belligerents met in deadly conflict near the mouth of the Mississippi. Both of them were too far away from the seats of their governments to be informed that the war was over, and so they fought a bloody battle in time of peace. But when the battles of the allies were fought a few years ago before the walls of Peking, you knew in Knoxville in the evening the results of the fighting in the forenoon. This will show you how close now are all lands to each other. All nations are now neighbors ; there is no "Far East." When I went out to the Orient last year, I sailed from Seattle on the afternoon of July 25, and I ate my breakfast in Yokohama on the morning of August 8. It required less time for me to go from our Pacific Coast to Japan than my father consumed in going from our home in Georgia to my uncle's residence in Louisiana in 1855. It is impossible that with the nations thus close together the moral conditions of mankind shall not soon become uniform throughout the earth. This missionary campaign is, therefore, not only a warfare to rescue the benighted heathen, but for the protection of the whole earth, including our own land, against the powers 16 The tfay of Our Opportunity. of darkness. The "Day of Our Opportunity" , is nothing less than the day of salvation for the race. But "the night cometh when no man can work." The issues involved are so great that no sacrifice can be made that will be greater than the cause justifies and demands. Let us realize this truth. Our people know how to make sacrifices. For sectional interests and political ends they made without hesitation the greatest sacrifices of both \>lood and treasure in the late Civil War. It is war time in the king- dom of Christ now — war time full of opportunity for victory and_ not without chance of defeat. With the Captain of our salvation; going before us, and with his blessing resting upon us, we may take this whole world for Christ; or, faithless to him, for- feiting his favor by fostering our selfishness, we may lose the day, and a darkness settle on the earth that can never be lifted. The alternatives are plainly before us. We must have done with selfishness and live lives of self-sacrifice. We must have done with littleness and lay hold of great things. We must crucify our lust and deify our Lord, or we will deify our lust and crucify our Lord. Board of Missions of the M. E. Cburch, South, Nashville, Tenn.